Meerkats are cheerful carnivores that are part of the mongoose family. They’re well known for their characteristic stance: standing on their hind legs, they constantly turn their heads from left to right to see if there are any predators coming.
They live in very social groups. The members of the groups take turns to stand guard, mainly to keep watch for birds of prey, but also to keep an eye on the location of rival groups of meerkats. Other jobs within the group are to hunt, or to mind the babies. Only the leader holds its position for a longer time.
Their nest, or rather underground burrow, comprises sleeping chambers, nurseries and even toilets. You can find meerkats throughout the Kalahari, but interestingly not outside it. They are known to be some of the most social animals in the world.
Thanks to the documentary series Meerkat Manor, meerkats have become very popular. The animals themselves are curious and like to come closer to investigate, and the entire family takes part. They stand guard in tall places, playfully gather food, look after their young – they get a lot done.
Meerkats like to warm themselves in the morning sun, so it pays to head out early to see them outside of their burrow. You can watch them interact with other animals, react to the wind any everything else in their world.